C R E T
HEADQUARTERS, CENTRAL AREA.
GUARDIA NACIONAL DE NICARAGUA.
14 February, 1930.
From: First Lieutenant
Francis J. Cunningham, G. N.
Subject: Annex No 1 – to patrol report
dated 13 February, 1930.
Enclosures: (A) Letter signed by PEDRO
signed by PEDRO ALTIMIRANO and
J. S. MORALES, dated 18 January, 1930.
(C) Letter to
PEDRO ALTIMIRANO signed illegibly.
1. The following
information was voluntarily given to
Rasos Mercedes MACIAS, #2401, Francisco
LOPEZ, #842, and Julio LOPEZ, #1597, by
JUAN BLANDON, bandit message center
operative at GUALE on 5 February, 1930.
These men entered the bandit house
dressed as Sandinistas and led him to
believe they were from the ORTEZ group
and anxious to join ALTIMIRANO.
BLANDON (no relation to JUAN BLANDON)
who is brother in-law to PEDRON lives
near EMBOCADEROS. (He abandoned his
house when my patrol approached him and
VICTOR GUTIERREZ, hacienda owner at
EMBOCADEROS, is a bandit although he
holds passport signed my Jefe Politico
of Jinotega. GUTIERREZ sent a message to
JUAN BLANDON that I was advancing with
FORTY (40) men, FOUR Thompsons (4), and
THREE mules laden with high explosives
has two camps, one called EL REFUGIO,
which is two days journey from BUALE,
containing EIGHTY (80) men, and CERRO
VERDE, where he maintains this general
headquarters, has his houses, ranch, and
women. CERRO VERDE is said to be at Mt
Kilande. The precise location of EL
REFUGIO is unknown, but is said to be on
a mountain top. PEDRON is supposed to
have ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY (190) men at
has AT LEAST the following supply system
and courier service:
1. AUGUSTIN CHAN of JINOTEGA and owner
of HDA LA COLONIA supplies him with
provisions, forwards and receives
CHAVARRIA of JINOTEGA, and owner of a
hacienda one and one-half miles west of
La Colonia supplies Pedron with
DUARTE of Jinotega and Owner of HDA LA
VENETIA one mile north of Corinto Finca,
supplies PEDRON with provisions and
information of troop movements.
4. A wealthy
ranch owner who has a place near TUMA
[p. 2] name unknown, supplies large
amounts of money.
5. All people
in Tomayunca and Embocaderos are bandits
or bandit sympathizers, and rapidly
relay information to JUAN BLANDON AT
RUIZ a lieutenant in Pedron’s forces
gets his correspondence in Jinotega and
brings it to GUALE, where CRECENCIO
LOPEZ, another lieutenant, picks it up
and carries it to PEDRON.
PINEDA of Jinotega supplies PEDRON with
supplies and information.
ZELAYA of Los Robles does the same.
CRUZ of BONETILLO does the same.
REYES of JINOTEGA the same.
11. THE RIZO
family of Cerro Grande the same.
LOPEZ of Jinotega is a bandit courier.
13. There are
other correspondents and purveyors whose
names are unknown to BLANDON.
had TWELVE (12) victrolas shipped to
CERRO GRANDE a short time ago from
Consistent propaganda is being put out
that SANDINO is going to return. It is
unknown who is doing this.
boasts, “Guardia capturado, Guardia
machetado, Yanquista capturado,
CHAN and PEDRON arranged the attack of
LA COLONIA, presumably, because its
occupancy by the Guardia interfered with
the service of supply and courier
(h) Pedron is
short of ammunition.
bandit morale is high and they believe
that the Guardia will not fight.
uses EL REFUGIO as an advance base the
base is frequently moved. There is no
Considering all of the information
gained prior and subsequent to the
GUAPINOL combat, the following
conclusion of fact have been reached:
bandit advance base is within the area
GUALE – BILAN – LAS TORRES – GUAPINOL –
LA VIRGEN – GUALE.
whole area is honey-combed with paths
showing signs of use, by humans, mules,
and pack bulls. The signs around the
scene of the combat were, of course, the
bandit camps are scattered all over this
area. The only large one was found south
of the scene of the contact.
numbers of spies report all movements of
troops to PEDRON.
considerable number of prominent people
in JINOTEGA and elsewhere contribute
money and supplies to PEDRON, receive
and forward his correspondence.
(f) At least
nominally, PEDRON is subordinate to
with a fair knowledge of military
science and tactics is with PEDRON.
3. It is
respectfully recommended that an advance
base be established at LOS CEDROS, LA
VIRGEN, or GUALE, and that numerous foot
patrols, heavily armed and carrying only
such provisions as can be carried by
each man, comb the territory mentioned.
Operations against CERRO VERDE will
undoubtedly be prolonged and
discouraging before PEDRON is finally
Francis J. Cunningham
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GBE.es 1st Endorsement, 14 February,
Headquarters, Central Area, G. N. de N.,
From: Area Commander.
Jefe Director, Guardia Nacional,
Subject: Annex No. 1 – patrol report
dated 13 February, 1930.
2. Conclusive evidence and
proof for trial of persons reported as
members of PEDRON ALTIMIRANO’S service
of intelligence and supply has not been
obtained. However, it is believed that
those listed in basic letter are very
active in bandit activities for personal
gain, increase in their business,
immunity from bandit depredations and
other reasons. It is practically
impossible to obtain conclusive proofs
on account of the fact that so many mans
of obtaining evidence are closed to the
Guardia on account of the strong
Anti-American sentiment prevailing.
3. Augustin Chan is one of the
largest and most prosperous merchants of
Jinotega. It would be impossible for him
to operate his hacienda LA COLONIA
without Guardia protection or agreement
with Altimirano. He does not desire
Guardia protection, and continues making
improvements and installing more modern
appliances at LA COLONIA. He claims
4. Rosendo Chavarria is a
prosperous coffee planter whose hacienda
adjoins LA COLONIA. He has always been
reported to have been a bandit agent. He
recently brought the hacienda M. BLANDON
for $4000.00 from Miguel Blandon,
Administrador de Rentas of Jinotega.
Miguel Blandon informed me that
Chavarria could operate this place on
account of relations with bandits and
that it was his understanding that
Chavarria contributed $50.00 per month
to Altamirano, and helped in sending out
supplies. Blandon also said that it was
impossible for him to not serve two
masters. Chavarria’s wife has been
reported from various sources as being
5. Daniel Pineda is a brother
of Adan Pineda who owns and operates a
very profitable store in Jinotega.
During the past year several persons
have been captured with pistols, who
stated that they purchased their pistols
from Adan Pineda. Daniel Pineda has been
suspected as being a bandit agent for
6. Competent personnel and
sufficient funds have not been available
to this office to enable this office to
obtain conclusive proofs to insure
convictions of certain persons
mentioned. I the meantime these persons
are making good business of their
knowledge of activities of occupying
force. No definite results can be
obtained against the bandit forces in
the field until activities of these
agents can be curbed.
7. It is recommended that this
office be authorized to confine the
prominent persons mentioned, make
thorough search of all possessions,
books, and papers, place them to proper
authority for trial or request them to
conduct their businesses and movements
under the supervision of the police and
G. B. Erskine,
STATEMENT RASO JULIO LOPEZ D., #1597,
The patrol consisted of twenty privates,
one corporal and the Captain who is in
command of Corinto Finca. The contact
was made on the 9th of the month (I
believe), and took place on the road
which crosses from Guapinol trail to the
south of Guapinol ridge just about one
hundred yards from the place where we
crossed the Gusanaro river.
The patrol came into the Pantasme river
trail from the direction of San Antonio
and followed this into Santa Cruz, then
followed the trail leading over the
mountain (Bujio) and took the east
branch (main trail) coming into Los
Torres in the afternoon of the same day.
Here we found an established bandit
camp, which was occupied by a woman,
three or four girls and a boy (about 12
yeards old), who had just killed and
prepared a large beef, apparently
expecting the arrival of a large group.
We captured a lot of guardia clothing
and blankets, I recognized some as
belonging to Guardia who lost it at La
Pavona, and three marine blankets marked
U.S., a number of machetes and cutachas.
These people stated we could kill them
but they would not talk. I do not know
if any of these people left while we
were there or not. They were interviewed
by Cpl. Herrera and the Captain. The
camp was not at the former site of Los
Torres but on the side of the hill near
El Poso. We left this camp and stopped
in a selected camp site on a hill about
six miles from there where we spent the
night. We broke camp about eight in the
morning and proceeding on to Guapinol,
which we passed about nine o’clock, we
crossed the Gusanaro river where some of
the Guardia washed, and about 100 yds up
the side of the ridge from the river we
were ambushed. I and two other Privates
armed with rifles were on the point and
some distance from the main group, when
three shots in rapid succession were
fired on our right and then three more
to the front and slightly to the left on
top of the ridge. This seemed to be a
signal for two machine guns opened up on
us and they started discharging
grenades. At this time a machine gun
around the bend together with heavy
rifle fire, apparently the main body of
the bandits opened up on our main body,
one shot going through the right
shoulder of the Captain’s rain-coat and
slightly grazing his arm. The Captain
then galloped around the bend to the
head of the main body and dove from his
mount and gave orders organizing two
sections for an attack on the enemy.
They could not see us but we could see
them so I stood up and shouted viva
twice, so that they could locate us, at
which time I was hit in the right
breast. We could not see the bandits as
they were on top of the ridge. That is
all I know, I lost consciousness.
STATEMENT OF VICTOR M. JARQUIN, RASO,
There were three of us on the point, all
armed with rifles and 100 rounds of
ammunition per man. I was hit in the
left leg by about the second shot which
was fired. All three of us were wounded.
Our patrol was armed with two TSMG and
one BAR and one rifle grenade
discharger. Garcia who had one of the
TSMG’s was killed while trying to get it
to operate. A private by name of
Sandoval went back and left his rifle
and got this Thompson, and put it into
action, which was the only automatic
weapon which we got into action. The man
with rifle grenades fired four but only
two of them discharged, two being duds.
The enemy apparently directed one
machine gun on the Captain for he was
shot through the right shoulder of his
raincoat, slightly grazing his arm. He
was apparently calm and knew what he was
doing for he continued at a fast gait to
the head of the main body before he fell
from his horse and pistol in hand
started shouting orders. He fired
several shots then formed two groups and
attacked the enemy from two sides. We
could not see the enemy but they could
see us, as you know of course, the road
is right in the open and they were
behind the crest of the hill and also
took advantage of the heavy brush on the
crest and the large pines. I fired point
blank eighteen times but do not have the
least idea what was the effect. We could
not do any good with volley fire wasting
more ammunition than the good it would
do. I fired at the smoke of the enemy
shots, as no doubt the rest of the
Guardia did. I lost my rifle, becoming
dizzy twice, but regained it and
continued firing slowly, some of the
times while I was dizzy I know I must
have fired in the wrong direction. I did
not lose consciousness until after the
Guardia charged up the hill and then due
to inactivity and loss of blood. The
Captain left some men with us. No one
lost his arms or any part of equipment.
We have no way of estimating the number
of bandits nor who they were.
It would appear that Los Torres is a
regular stopping off camp for the
bandits since the evacuating of Santa
Cruz and abandoning of this section of
the country to a state of inactivity. It
has an excellent offensive and defensive
terrain, being located above the trail
on the side of a small hill and also
there is plenty of beef run loose in
this section and a well for water
supply. This woman answers the
description of a woman named Patrona,
formerly the woman of Guadalupe Rivera,
and now the Mujer of Sebastian Centeno,
she has three daughters, all young, and
a small boy, Jose, who is fourteen years
of age. This woman is well known to the
bandits and can furnish a lot of
information if the right method is used.
This section of the country is the
natural haven of retreat for the
bandits, there being a great number of
animals, beef, cargo and riding, running
loose. It is broken up into thousands of
short ridges, and there are many trails.
It is practically impossible to ambush
the bandits here for the terrain is
clear, very little underbrush in the
The land is mostly all pasture land,
with a clear vision for miles from the
top of any of the higher peaks. This
section was well inhabited at one time
by large lumber camps.
Transcribed by Pleet Initiative-funded
Lebanon Valley College
student-researcher Nicholas J. Quadrini.